Wednesday, September 14, 2011


To distract myself from the monotony of doing my baby rain dance around the living room for yet another day, I have decided to let you, dear readers, embark with me on my latest quest - that for the perfect diaper bag.

Since Carter was born, I have carried this:

My sweet husband bought it for me shortly after the Roo arrived because I had been obsessing over its pattern for months. Damn if I don't love me some stripes, people.

Now, that bag and I have had a good run, I must say. However, I'm beginning to suspect that it's not ideal for two (GAH!!) kids, and all the accompanying schlepping that goes with that territory. I can hardly jam it full of Carter's stuff these days, so how on earth can I possibly pack accoutrements for a whole other person in there? Plus, there's no zipper top, which I think most moms can agree is a major bummer - I'm constantly paranoid that I am leaving a trail of crackers, diapers, car keys, sanity, etc. in my wake whenever I go out. Not cool.

Thus, inspired by the recent diaper bag quest of Rebecca over at GGC (who lives right down the street and just had her twins YESTERDAY **OH, JEALOUSY**), I am going to document my hunt for the ideal diaper bag. Huzzah! This should occupy some space in my weary, bloated brain that would otherwise be obsessing about the distinct lack of newborn in my arms!

Like many women, when I first began to outgrow my striped friend above, I sought refuge with a variety of non-"diaper bag" alternatives and began just throwing everything into bigass purses, like this one from Gap (bought on super-sale for about $12 two years ago):

I'm not usually into flowery prints, but what you can't see in this photo is that the entire interior of the bag is BRIGHT ORANGE, which is flat-out awesome. Issues: serious lack of pockets = haphazard tossing of crap into bag = can't find shit. Again, not ideal.

Another husband-purchased alternative (thank you, LOML!) is this Etsy find:

I love this one for its simplicity, its redness, its ginormity, and the fact that it has a ZIPPER closure (I mean, really, diaper bag people, get with the program). The fact that it is somehow super-inexpensive while being handmade in Turkey is also fairly badass. However, although there ARE several inner pockets, I still find myself fishing for kid stuff often due to the bag's depth and lack of structure, which allows for a strange quicksand effect of everything I seem to need sinking to the bottom, just out of reach. Hrmph.

So there you have it. Three good bags, with downfalls to each. If I weren't 40 weeks, 3 days pregnant, I would probably just suck it up, jam everything into one of these suckers and call it a day - but by damn, I am an American consumer! Let's throw this economy a bone and buy some stuff we don't especially need! Yeeeeeehah, folks.

Some parameters - I'm not really into the whole "diaper bag that looks like a briefcase/office bag/fancypants expensive leather dealie." Like this one:

Yes, apparently that is a diaper bag. Sleek, no? But here's the deal - while I don't necessarily want a bag that screams "KID SHIT WITHIN!" I also am not in the market for something that looks like I really should either be shopping at Bloomies or about to enter a boardroom. I'd like SOME sense of whimsy to it. I mean, have you met me?

For instance, I find this (craaaazy expensive) one kind of awesome, but I think it just might take itself a little too seriously:

So here goes nothing. Some contenders:

OiOi Bags:

In case you don't know, I am a big fan of anything red. Thus, I love these. And look at all that cool stuff that comes with it. Plus, I found them for only $112 online (normally $160). Oh, AND they are made from organic cotton with a water-resistant finish and phthalate-free everything. Be still my heart. I think I like the hobo shape more than the satchel-y one, because I'm not a big fan of hardware on bags and the contrast of the black on red is too distracting to me. It also comes in a very nice blue shade, but I just don't know that I could commit to something outside of my signature color.

Although it's not as unique, I also like this one, in all its preppy, Nantucket-y glory. I found it for only $99 online (normally $150). However, I fear it's ultimately a little too boring. I mean, I'm looking for whimsy, after all:

I am very fond of this one, which seems to possess an endless array of pockets which I could stuff with all manner of kid crap:

It comes in a truckload of colors, but I'm strangely partial to this navy, even more so than the red. It's less fun than the red OiOi bag, but more interesting than the office-y type bags, and it looks sufficiently massive to suit my purposes. Price is pretty great, too.

I've heard good things about the Le Sport Sac bags being very lightweight and stuffable, but MY GOD isn't this just the most incredibly boring thing you've ever seen?

In other options, people seem to really dig these Timi and Leslie bags (same as office-y black one pictured at beginning of post), but I just don't know if they're ME.

I like this one, but it's pricey ($200!!), doesn't have a top zipper, and I can't find a better price online. I did, however, find it in another pattern for only $99, but it's nowhere near as awesome.

I weirdly like the quilted effect of this one, but don't think I can commit to all-black (booooring):

This is a total daddy bag, but I weirdly like it. So many pockets! So much stuff to cram inside! And it's red! And cheap ($79!)!

I like these bags (in all patterns except the lame peace symbol), but they don't have a zipper top and come with no cool accoutrements (hello, changing pad?!). Plus, I suspect that it may not be massive enough for my purposes.

All right - I could and would go on, but I've already been looking at diaper bags for several hours and I'm beginning to have some crampy contraction-ish stuff going on, so I'm going to go take a walk outside and see if I can have a baby today.

Before I go, tell me folks (all four readers of my blog) - what diaper bag do you carry? Thoughts? Recommendations? Help a lady out!



Imajazzbaby said...

Erica said...

Well you know I love my Dadgear backpack, and wouldn't have anything else...but I do love your daddy bag pick the best for you! I think that it looks like you enough and the color is perfect and it looks the most user friendly for what you need!! You are going to need to put a lot of shit in there, and you want many compartments!!!! That should be your main goal here. love ya!

HollyLynne said...

We are currently using a canvas army messenger bag from amazon ($21!!!). It is admittedly low on the whimsy scale, but it is huge and holds all of our stuff (including the Ergo when Mr. Toddler Pants decides he is too big to be carried, our dslr, 3 lenses (what?) and a flash). We used to use the Skip Hop pronto diaper kit (in your stripe pattern . . . represent!) but now we use a JJ cole diaper pouch w/a changing pad, since it is smaller (although maybe a tad too small . . .I have to lay Rhyser out on it diagonally for full butt/head coverage).

I've come to realize that there just ISN'T a perfect diaper bag.

Kari Friedman said...

So glad I read this! Ugh...still wavering...I guess the perfect bag is pretty hard to find!